Ewe Iran: Moimoi leaf

Brief Profile of The Common Moimoi Leaf:

Ewe Iran commonly known as ‘moimoi leaf’ and whose botanical name is Sarcophrynium brachystachys(Benth.) K. Schum.  belongs to the family Marantaceae is a semi-woody rhizomatous herb producing closely-clumped long-petioled leaves, 0.5–1.75 m tall. It is an undershrub of the damp, swampy forest; little wonder it is among the crops that can be intercropped with cocoa. Other cocoa inter crops  include plantain, cocoyam, cassava, citrus

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S. Brachystachys is a plant common in West African Countries like Nigeria, Liberia, Zaire, Cameroon. One major economic benefits of the crop in this part of the world is its use as food wrapper. Many homes and eateries around Nigeria use this leaf in wrapping food like pounded yam(iyan) and moimoi(bean pudding) because it is cost reducing, available in sufficient amount since its a natural resource, it adds aroma to the food particularly moimoi and does not contain dioxin. Dioxin is present in cellophane and can pose threat to human health.

The fruit-pulp of Brachystacys is edible, the seed is used for pulmonary troubles and leaf for emetics. The leaf and petiole is also used in producing  building materials, withes, twigs, household, domestic and personal items.

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